With the warmer weather approaching, many will be flooding to the popular beaches of Cornwall, so finding some seclusion and quiet may feel short-lived. But, Cornwall has a surprise secret up its sleeve: secret beaches and coves. While these secret beaches aren’t all easy to find or get to, nothing worth seeing is ever easy; ranging from a few people scattered over to completely empty, we want to run down some of the top lesser-known and remote beaches you can find in Cornwall.
If you’re after something quiet where you can relax or explore, these five beaches may not be for you. While famous either for their location, amenities or accessibility, they fill up quickly, especially in warmer months.
Running from the Minack Theatre to the Logan Rock, this sandy beach offers picturesque turquoise waters perfect for swimming and surfing. Because of this, it has become popular with tourists and locals.
Just shy of two miles away from Lizard Point, this stunning, popular beach is reached via a set of steep steps. Surrounded by rocks and cliffs, you may feel like you’re secluded. Still, this cove is actually very popular, with many seeking it out for its distinctive serpentine rock formations and blue waters.
Closeby to Perranporth, the beach town with a close to the shore high-street, this beach is top-rated amongst tourists staying in the area. With the tide coming in, there are two miles of beach to find a place at, but it’s the accessibility and waters which pull people to it each year.
Although Watergate Bay is a large, open sandy beach just shy of Newquay, it is insanely popular. This is partly due to its location and the high winds from the Atlantic, making it a perfect surfing destination. It’s also worth bearing in mind that much of the beach is swallowed up when the tide rolls in.
With it being very close to St. Ives, Porthmeor Beach is popular amongst families, surfers and swimmers. Due to its closeness to the town, the beach is often bustling in warmer weather, with people flooding to it for a sand-filled afternoon.
Although the famous beaches have amenities and shops, if you’re after a remote and quiet beach to relax or explore, read our top ten Cornwall beaches below.
Neighbouring Bedruthan Steps, Pentire Steps is a hidden cove that requires a scramble down the cliffs to reach. When the tide goes out, you’re left with a beautiful beach with golden sand and glistening water, all secluded by the tall cliffs. Throughout the year, it remains pretty quiet, but be aware that if the tide comes in, the beach here disappears.
A relatively untouched beach except for the walkers on the coastal path, Nanjizal Cove is perfect for quiet moments and seal watching. A rocky and challenging to access cove, the beach itself is covered in boulders from coves, leaving behind unique rock formations. At one stage, it was known as Mill Bay as it was the site of a watermill but has since remained deserted due to the nearest car park being a mile away.
Tucked away between Treyarnon Bay and Porthcothan, Fox Cove is a sandy secret Cornwall waiting for you to discover. Surrounded by steep cliffs, the cove is sheltered from the wind and recognisable by a stripe of rock studded with mussels pointing to the beach. While beautiful, Fox Cove is challenging to get to with the path down the cliff is complex and not for the faint-hearted. Also, be cautious of the tide, as the beach all but disappears in high tide.
Surprisingly, this quiet and secluded beach is only five miles away from Newquay and Fistral beach. A deeper beach than it is wide, it still offers a lot of space on low tides however is a far walk from the car park. Once on the beach, it has caves and rock pools to explore as well as being dog-friendly all year round.
If a ‘most hidden beach’ award were given, Lantic Bay would win hands down. With two beaches in one, Little Lantic and Great Lantic, but both remain relatively quiet. Most visitors to this bay come by boat for the picturesque and tropical feel of these beaches. Covered in near-white sand, surrounded by turquoise water and high cliffs, Lantic Bay is perfect for swimmers and sunbathers, but be wary of the incoming tide.
This secret sandy beach is only accessible by a steep road from Boswinger, making Hemmick Beach all the more remote. In low tides, there are plenty of tiny coves to explore, and perfect for swimmers. Most of those who visit have needed to trek over the fields to reach it. This is why it remains quiet and quaint, even in the summer.
A few miles from Polperro, Lansallos Cove is hidden amongst green hills and cliffs, taking a walk down from the car park to reach it. This semi-circular cove has near-white sand and shingle beach, with there even being a small waterfall on the eastern side that used to power a small mill, which is no longer in use.
With a steep climb down from the hills, Housel Bay Beach is not easy to get to. Close to Lizard Point is one of the most southern beaches in the UK, with a sandy cove in low tide. Once you’ve reached Housel Bay Beach, the cove surrounds you with dark, craggy cliffs with almost white sand at your feet and clear water out in front of you.
Bosahan Cove is tucked away by the ancient woodlands of the Bosahan estate near the Helford River. This idyllic sandy beach is reachable in several ways, including the coastal path, where you walk through the tropical gardens of Bosanan before reaching. Due to this, it has a magical feel to it, feeling as though you’ve discovered Cornwall’s best-kept secret as you step through the greenery to see the sand and sea.
Although close to popular villages, Tregardock Beach is quiet and remote. This is in part due to its steep climb down the rocks and small car park, but when you’ve descended, you’ll meet with dark cliffs and rocky shoreline. It unveils a golden sandy beach with rock pools and even a waterfall within a shallow cave in the cliff in low tide.
With the ten beaches or coves above being Cornwall’s best-kept secrets, you can listen to the rolling waves and take stock of the beauty all around you. All of these beaches offer seclusion and privacy, and you’re more likely to meet a seagull or seal than another person while you’re there. But, while they have fantastic views, they have limited amenities, so make sure to pack a picnic, a bottle of wine and maybe even two glasses, all the while keeping an eye on the tide.